for Anita & Sujit's Austin Texas wedding the day before the main
ceremony when members of Sujit's extended family presented him with
a traditional North Indian wedding suit to wear for the reception
and gifts of traditional foods for him and his parents. For Anita,
it was the traditional Ladies Menhdi tea party where female family
and friends gathered to present her with wedding attire, pray over
her and then have mehndi applied. Mehndi is the art of applying intricate
henna temporary tattoos to the hands, forearms and feet of the bride.
In some cultures it is traditional to include the groom's name in
the henna design.... the thought being that if he can find his name
he is truly meant to marry this bride. Sujit's name was indeed on
Anita's inside wrist. That evening was a celebration called Sangeet.
This is where the friends and families of the engaged couple get together
for introductions, music, dancing and food. The next morning as the
sun rose Sujit mounted a white horse and with many, many family and
friends sang and danced in a procession to meet his future in-laws.
The joy on his face was tremendous as he called out "It's time
for my wedding" and went up the stairs at the Austin
Hindu Temple with both sides of the family to await his bride.
There were traditional ceremonies and rituals performed from both
sides of this North Indian/South Indian wedding. Anita and Sujit changed
into traditional South Indian wedding attire for the formal pictures
while the guests enjoyed a wedding lunch. Later that evening the festivities
started again with more family photos at the Downtown
Austin Hilton while the guests enjoyed a cocktail hour with a
Mexican Martini Ice flume and delicious Indian appetizers. I never
get over the fantastic colors and fabrics in Indian Weddings and not
just in the wedding party. The ballroom lights, linens and flowers
were in jewel tones amber, peridot, aubergine and of course..... burnt
orange. (Anita is after all, a UT Grad) But even the guests were arrayed
men and women in a rainbow of colors and textures. The colorful lights
swirled around the room as good food was consumed, toasts were given
and some fun skits were performed by friends of the happy couple.
The next day, a wedding send off prayer ceremony and lunch was hosted
by Anita's family including many traditional South Indian dishes prepared
by her Mother, Aunts and Cousins... yum! Shortly after, Sujit and
Anita packed up their belongings for their return to Boston. I hope
that they will give us a call the next time they are in town visiting
Anita's parents. I know we'd love to see them again.